Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
This Wednesday, July 12th, as a continuing part of our Racine Yacht Club Star Fleets’ 79th Anniversary year celebration, we will be recognizing our 4th District member Harry Nye’s 2 Gold Stars - ’42 & ’49 World Championships. Harry was honored by the Star Class appointing him as Commodore of the Star Class from 1955 to 1963 and honoring his memory in 1989 with The Harry Gale Nye Trophy. This Trophy recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to the ISCYRA. The trophy is named for Harry Gale Nye (1908-1987), who in addition to his two Star World Championships also won the Bacardi Cup and the Cup of Cuba in Stars three times each.
Harry’s sailing race record extended beyond the Star Class to offshore racing as well. He was a crew member on Rubiyacht, the famous 1937 winner of that year’s legendary heavy weather Chicago Mackinac Race in which only 3 boats finished. Part of his fame is also tied to Racine. Q 12/Gloriant, brought from Marblehead to Racine on Lake Michigan by Tony Herrmann, Sr. and later owned by Vitas Thomas, also of Racine, had won several Chicago Mackinac Races before being purchased By Harry in 1948. Harry promptly won the 1948 Port Huron Mackinac Race and went on to win 2 back-to-back overall Chicago Mackinac Races in 1950 & 1951. Q 12’s overall race record, under these three different Lake Michigan owners, of 6 overall Mackinac Race victories and 2 Queens Cups stands unmatched to this present day.
Harry was for many years the owner of Murphy & Nye Sailmakers, was a graduate of Yale University, and ran a tool business and a small foundry. His daughter Judy Nye of Saugatuck is an accomplished helmsperson winning 3 Chicago Mackinac Races in the Tartan Ten Class in 1983, 2002 and 2008.
At Racine Yacht Club, this Wednesday night after the race, we plan on awarding an appropriate trophy to the winning skipper and crew of that Harry Nye Wednesday Night Gold Star Race. Judy Nye unfortunately will be unable to be at the trophy award Wednesday but has expressed her gratitude and deep appreciation for the recognition of her father and his accomplishments.